“And when those of certainty came to know what they were created for and for what purpose they came into existence they raised their heads high. When they knew that paradise was elevated for them they rolled up their sleeves for it. And that the straight path was made clear to them so they were firm as they traversed upon it. And they saw that the greatest inequity is to sell that which no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and has not been conjured up by the imagination of any soul in an eternity that never ends for a temporal life, rather something only like a false dream, or a vision that visits during sleep, corrupted by disturbances, paired with torments. If it brings some laughter it brings much weeping, and if it causes happiness one day it causes sadness for months. Its pains are greater than its pleasures and its sorrows are many folds greater than its happiness. The first of it is fear and the last of it is ruin.
What amazement at a fool in the shape of a wise person, and an imbecile in the clothes of a person of intellect, who preferred a portion that is perishable and lousy, over a portion that is eternal, and sold a paradise that is equal to the heavens and the earth for an earth that is a constricted prison shared amongst a people afflicted by impairments and calamities. And (sold) goodly homes in gardens of Eden under which rivers flow, for a camel stable- constricted and ends with ruin. And (sold) loving virgins, equal in age, as if they are like rubies and coral (in beauty), for foul, lowly women who would take a boyfriend or commit adultery. And Hoor with restricted gaze awaiting in tents, for filthy ones who would curse amongst the people. And (sold) rivers of wine a pure pleasure for those who drink, for an impure drink that does away with the mind and corrupts one’s wordly and religious life. And (sold) the pleasure of gazing at the Face of the All-Great and the Most Merciful, for the pleasure of glancing at hideous lowly faces. And (sold) the experience of listening to the address of Al-Rahman, for the experience of listening to music and singers. And (sold) the reclining on thrones of pearls, rubies and chrysolite on the Day of Increase for the reclining on gatherings of transgression with every wandering devil. And (sold) the calling of the caller “Oh people of paradise: For you here is everlasting bliss and no despair, and everlasting life and no death, and everlasting residence and no relocation, and everlasting youth and no ageing” for the songs of singers…
It is paradise. So how amazing is it then, how could the one seeking it sleep? And how could the one courting it not accept its dowry? And how could one be pleased with living in this (earthly) abode after hearing its description? And how has the one who desires it been able to live without embracing its virgins? And how could the eyes of those who desire it glance away from it? And how could those who were certain of it be patient at not entering it? And how could the hearts of the majority of mankind be unconcerned with it? And with what did the souls of those who turned away replace it?
Ibnul Qayyim al Jowziyyah
Introduction to Ibnul Qayyims’ Haadi Al-Arwaah ilaa bilaad Al-Afrah